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trying to help my BS with anniversary dates

t999 posted 8/4/2020 19:52 PM

1 year has past since my wife found out and its a very precarious time. I know she is hurt, and these dates just do more triggering, so I know its up to me to step up to help her with that trauma. My current issue at the moment is that the pain runs deep and im also going through a lot of trauma and medication changes so im having a hard time keeping myself humble and trying not to show even the slightest bit of aggression. Any advice would be appreciated.

SI Staff posted 8/6/2020 20:21 PM

Bumping this for input

JBWD posted 8/6/2020 21:40 PM

First and foremost, aggression is a troubling word to use. It’s also very telling- If this is your instinct when your BP is visibly suffering I believe that reflects a belief that you’re somehow a victim in this as well.

The best thing I can tell you overall, especially if these types of emotions surface in you, is that everything you do MUST BE DELIBERATE. You need to approach daily interactions like a complex evolution that requires lots of thorough planning- I say this because your emotions are doing a number on you and you’re going to have to slow things down to understand them. A great method to recognize emotions and disarm them is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT.)

That same deliberation needs to go into big decisions like changing meds, too. It’s a done deal now but big changes like that need to be offset, and you need to be able to see that coming.

I said it previously as well, I really think time apart might serve you well. If you’re having this much trouble with approaching these conversations with an open mind, you’re likely inflicting a lot of pain in the process.

t999 posted 8/7/2020 15:05 PM


Thanks for the input, past few days have been better for us because I have been able to stop talking and listen. This does a few things:

1. it validates her feelings
2. allows me to hear what she is saying vs
thinking about the next thing I am going to say.

I have also been able to regulate my emotions better, even under some pretty crazy stress.

I'm going to check in with my VA therapist to see if that's something she can do with me, or if i need to be passed along to another therapist.

A lot of times I become worried and fearful of saying anything because I have not always been able to say the "right" thing, and its usually not what I say its how its delivered, or even how its taken by her. A lot of good intentions have been smashed apart by bad delivery, so it makes me clam up and that can be looked at like I am just repressing emotion, where in fact i feel the emotion very vividly and clearly, but cannot word it right. It is something I'm working on because i have a measure of success and that's just seeing the emotional change where I know she isn't being triggered a bunch of times and is able to rest and get emotionally right.

I appreciate your candor as sometimes it helps to hear and read things from different people even if its the same thing I have heard before.

JBWD posted 8/9/2020 13:46 PM

You can start CBT on your own- “Feeling Good” by David Burns.

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